New Delhi: After being expelled from their Aam Aadmi Party on Monday night for anti-party activities, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav lambasted the party, describing it as a Khap Panchayat (kangaroo court). Although the two leaders termed their expulsion from the party as illegal, they said they would not contest it in the court.
The AAP late Monday night removed Bhushan, Yadav, Ajit Jha and Anand Kumar for anti-party activities. A fortnight after its historic victory in the Delhi polls, the party plunged into a crisis, with its founding members Bhushan and Yadav accusing its chief Arvind Kejriwal of having developed "dictatorial tendencies".
Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. File picture
Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, Bhushan, accompanied by Yadav, said: "It is no longer AAP. It is Khap." "Ideally we can approach the court against all that they did. The reconstitution of the national disciplinary committee, the removal of Admiral Ramdas as the party Lokpal - everything was illegal. The question is why should we spend our energy in court?" he added.
The two leaders said though they were sad over their expulsion, they felt relieved as the "drama" is now over. Without mincing words, Bhushan went on to describe Kejriwal as a "dictator" who along with his "coterie" takes decision in the party. Reacting to Bhushan's and Yadav's allegations, AAP leader Ashutosh later said the dissident leaders had disrespected AAP's Political Affair Committee -- its key decision making body.
"The leaders should have some shame as they have disrespected the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), National Executive and National Council they were a part of. They should not talk about democracy now," he said. Detailing about the procedure of expulsion, Dinesh Waghela, a member of AAP's National Disciplinary Committee, said the committee had gone through the replies of the rebel leaders properly.
"We found that Bhushan, Yadav, Anand Kumar and Ajit Jha had indulged in anti-party activities. We unanimously decided to expel all the four rebel leaders from the party," he said. "An e-mail in this connection was sent to all the four expelled leaders on Monday night," he said, adding: "We will resend the copy of expulsion letter to them if they have not received it earlier."
The party also termed the allegations levelled against its leaders Pankaj Gupta and Ashish Khetan by Bhushan as "baseless", saying the party would not order any inquiry against them. Bhushan accused AAP's general secretary Pankaj Gupta of accepting Rs.2 crore donation from shell companies and Khetan of writing a planted story in a magazine defending a telecom company, allegedly involved in the 2G spectrum scam.
Meanwhile, Khetan, in response to Bhushan's allegation against him, said the charges are baseless, and added that if the allegations were proved, he would quit public life. "If Shanti Bhushan or Prashant Bhushan provide any proof regarding their allegations against me, I will quit the public life. If they fail in giving any proof, they should also quit the public life. The charges made against me bear no truth," Khetan told reporters.